About Jennifer Schwirzer

Jennifer Jill Schwirzer resides in Philadelphia with her husband, Michael. She has written ten books, recorded eight original music CD's, and runs a counseling practice.

The Cost of Belonging
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December 18 Mike and I packed his Saab station wagon with food, clothes, fishing rods, gifts, and Fred the dog, and set out for the shores of the Gulf of Mexico for the annual Christmas gathering of my extended family.

The trip cost us a chunk of change in gas, tolls, and hotels, plus some wear and tear on the nervous system due to, shall we say, interpersonal challenges within the extended family. But we gladly sacrificed because belonging comes […]

“Who’s Allelon?”
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

This blog will depart from my usual gentle, winsome tone. I’ve avoided using my posts as a bully pulpit, but I can no longer forbear. It’s time for a stern rebuke regarding our spiritual condition. Earth’s probation will soon screech to a halt when Jesus comes with his glorious retinue of angels, and I must testify that we are not ready.

In particular, one standard has been ignored, neglected, even despised among us. God will soon hold our shady lives up […]

I Could . . .
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Statue of Liberty

Today in the U.S. we commemorate the signing of America’s Declaration of Independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776.

Statue of Liberty

When we finally won the war in 1783, America (named the United States in 1777), became a “sovereign state.” Notice the word “reign” in “sovereign,” indicating that we reign over ourselves. Are you thankful as I am for this? It came as a free gift to us, but at the ultimate cost to a host of forgotten soldiers. […]

Simon Says: “You Can Prevent Clergy Sexual Abuse!”
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/lwjas0525.html?r=ssnet

They call me Simon the Pharisee. “Simon” means “hearing.” In accordance with my name, I heard the call of Jesus and became a disciple after He healed me of leprosy. Candidly, the physical disease symbolized the deeper spiritual disease from which Jesus also delivered me. I was guilty of clergy sexual abuse, a practice that fed on my Phariseeism like crustaceans feed on sewage.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Clergy Sexual Abuse has been in the headlines for a few […]

The Lamb Wins . . . Us
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Solomon and the Shulamite

I have a couple of young male friends who once made a science of flirting. They read books about it, fastidiously putting what they learned into practice.

Solomon and bride Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Until talking to them, I never knew of the volumes of material written on the subject. I assumed people just followed their instincts. No. Flirting has been raised to a science.

For example, a blogger named Donalgraeme created […]

My All-White World
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I grew up in an all-white world.

Well, not exactly all white. There was Maurice, the black custodian at the local shopping center, who swept the sidewalks singing B.B. King songs. There was Joe Parche, the skinny, high-I.Q. boy who they bussed in from the city in an effort to “integrate” our high school. And there was Estelle, our cleaning lady.

Estelle came into my world surrounded with myth and mystery. My mother had prepared me for her arrival by drawing me aside to […]

Do You Have Any MLD’s?
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Multi-Level Disasters? Mother-in-Law Debates? Maple-Lemon Duck Sauce?

Acronyms develop when something appears so often that it calls for a more efficient name. No need for, “Repondez s’il vous plait.” Just write, “R.S.V.P.” Same with A.M., P.M., B.C., A.D., P.S., ASAP, B.Y.O.B and many more.

I’ve decided to coin an acronym: M.L.D. stands for Major Life Disappointment. I’ve decided it’s long overdue we talk about them, and officialize while taming them a bit, as acronyms tend to do. A case in point: A.D.D. […]

Addiction
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

I received a tortured call one evening. “Horrible things are happening, my life is coming unraveled,” the caller said, spilling out a litany of disasters that tangled financial loss, physical illness, family estrangement, and psychological despair.

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

“Your addiction is catching up with you,” I said. The dialog between the two of us had been protracted, painful and interspersed with angry telephone clicks when my frankness offended him. Now he wept brokenly.

“I know.”

“You must get help.”

“But […]

Fear. God. Love.
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Test your knowledge. Put your hand over the screen and guess the three most common mental disorders in the US.

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

They are, in order, with lifetime prevalence rates: Anxiety disorders (about 18%), mood disorders (about 10%), and ADHD (about 5%).

It might come as a surprise that anxiety rates higher than depression. Actually, anxiety diagnoses multiply like rabbits in the Diagnostic Manual put out by the American Psychiatric Association. Here are the primary ones: acute stress […]

A Love Story
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It must have been fall when she first heard him sing, because she remembers how his tenor soared among the fiery maple leaves one hundred feet above ground as she sat by her window. It made her breath come in gasps, as if she was doing the singing. She saw him from a distance many times, but they conversed only shyly in small bites, like sparrows pecking at morsels of maybe. Then came the moment he told her he had […]